May 2016 trail and river update

Hi – I walked from Kent to Cornwall yesterday on the AT, an easy hike of about 8 miles.  The trail is in great shape, with freshly painted blazes.  Thanks CT AMC !  The streams and waterfalls flowing down to the Hoosie are magnificent.  You can put your tired feet in the water for ten minutes, and you’re ready to go again.

Remember the fire danger is high – no open fires are allowed.  During the past month, we have had two major brush fires in Kent.   They were caused by campers who had their small campfires get away from them due to wind gusts.   Each fire needed about one hundred firefighters (I was one of them) to put them out.

The Stewart Hollow shelter on the AT is in good shape, and the few campsites there, and further north at Stony Brook, haven’t even been used yet.

The Hoosie is full up, with clear water – the kayakers are having a ball, but thin wetsuit is a good idea in case of a spill.  Most all the rocks are covered by water.

The Rooster Tail Inn is out of business.  The Hopkins Inn vineyards are sprouting – the bicycler’s are out in force on the state roads, but the best routes seem to be empty.

Next month, our Northwest Rope Rescue Team will be at the St. John’s Ledges (on the AT, just west of where it runs into River Road in North Kent.

Some of the best swimming in mid summer will be South Gate, Stone Church, and Falls Village lower falls.  (The upper ones are dangerous and I don’t take groups there).  For small kids, the State Park at Lake Waramaug has a decent beach and calm water.  The park, along with the State Parks north of Cornwall Bridge are underutilized for camping.   The bridge over the Hoosie at Falls Village next to the hydro plant  has been installed and now we can cross there.

The fly fishermen are out in force, a few of them have found the best “local” “secret” spots, but not all of them.  Think “rock-rock-rock-bucket” for the best chances.   If you are interested in a dory or raft float for fishing, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Guide Greg.

The golfing is terrific at Canaan Country Club – they had a tournament last Saturday, and the they did a great job grooming the course – it’s in the best shape I’ve seen it in 8 years.   The greens fees with a cart are less than 50 bucks.  It’s a wide, forgiving course.  For a challenge, try Hotchkiss School’s course – bring a lot of extra golf balls, as you will need them.

One of the best kept secrets are the free concerts given during the summer by classical musicians in small venues.  You can see them perform for free, or you can pay 30-45 dollars per ticket to see them perform in commercial venues the next month.

The Red Lion Inn and Mohonk Mountain House are offering sale lodging prices – I guess things are slow until memorial day.

The antiquing up route 7 is going full blazes, including our store in Kent (Rolling River Antiques).   Call my wife Karen at the store if you are looking for something particular, and check out Rolling River Antiques on facebook for pictures of items – 860-927-3100.

Come on up on the train when it gets hot and the city is telling you that life may be better in nature !  We’ll be here !

Best.  Jim Shaw  CCT   860-619-8060